The Couple Claimed The Voicemails Were Impeding Their Intimacy
“My firm had this massive case with a lot of people involved that had spun out into a bunch of little side cases. In one of those side cases, this guy was claiming our client had left him threatening voicemails related to the main case, and he and his wife sued for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium, and I swear to you this is a real thing, basically means something happened that is stopping a married couple from having relations, and they want to sue you over it. The guy was claiming that he was so scared from the voicemails that he couldn’t sleep with his wife anymore.
Deposition time rolled around and I was sitting in the other room, but it’s a small office and I can hear everything. My boss started asking the wife how we were supposed to know that it was our client’s fault they stopped having relations. Maybe she’s just not as attracted to him anymore, maybe he’s not attracted to her, maybe they didn’t have that much of a bedroom life to begin with, etc. Then the woman started yelling, ‘I love getting it on!’ and banging her fists on the table.
Her lawyers tried to calm her down and tell her to stop talking, but she kept on shouting ‘I love getting it on! We used to do it 2, 3 times a day! We’d be thrown out of hotels because of the noise we’d make!’ Then, to the protest of everyone in the room, her counsel and ours, she proceeded to describe their bedroom history in graphic detail, all of which was recorded in the deposition and filed with the court.”
That’s How He Learned That The Internet Is Forever
“Back when I was in training I shadowed a domestic violence case. Both people were in their early twenties, a girl and boy. The boy was accused of abuse, stalking, and emotional manipulation. The judge was known to get angry if you accused without evidence, and the boy thought the girl had no evidence. Lo and behold, there was a mountain of evidence.
He was so dumb, he sent her videos, texts, and photos via Snapchat. He said in court that they couldn’t be real because Snapchat deletes things, which is why he used it. Wow. He was also a lover of weapons, and in one photo (with a freakin’ caption!) he threatened to shoot himself if she didn’t come back. Then he told the judge that he was only kidding because he would never really do that. The judge was visibly ticked at the guy because he was belligerent, and interrupted the judge and girl constantly. He lost, had to turn in his weapons, go get mentally evaluated, serve some jail time, and could never contact her ever again. Dude just kept digging his own grave.”
His Appeal To Emotion Worked Flawlessly, Until He Made One Major Revelation
“One day at the start of a trial, a guy with the greasiest mullet ever entered the room. He was thin and tall, with disproportionately sized limbs and tattoos all over. I swear, the way he sat before the judge the only thing missing was a brew in his hand and a chicken under his arm. Now, this guy chose to not have a lawyer represent him, as he’s a regular and spends short periods of time in jail or doing community service pretty much every month. He was a real problem case, addiction, violence, etc, but he still came across as a really sympathetic dude who had a really entertaining way of telling a story while keeping a straight face and not realizing how crazy it was.
He knew he was getting fined and a couple hours of cutting weeds as community service to keep our Dutch streets nice and tidy, but he tried to win the sympathies of the judge to decrease his sentence. The man’s dog was sent to a dog shelter after they found it malnourished a couple of weeks before when they brought him in for dealing—real sad, but also the reason he was standing trial.
The guy got high as a kite and wasted as an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day, and, while completely out of his mind on pills, decided to get his dog back from the shelter because he really missed ‘his girl.’ The judge asked him if it’s correct that he broke the lock and some of the camera equipment on site of the dog shelter, and he confirmed. You could really tell from his passionate account of the progression of the evening that he did it all out of pure love, as he’d said his dog was the only thing that pulled him through all of his rough patches with his girlfriend and his pill problem.
Then the judge ordered camera footage to be shown to confirm that it was the suspect in question. In the footage, he was seen stumbling about, wrenching one of the dog enclosures open, and hugging a German shepherd. At that point everyone was touched by seeing the guy be so emotional in the footage with the dog, hugging it, petting it, and playing with it. You could tell the judge really got into it, too.
The guy continued with his story and talked about how he took the dog to his car and went home, having never felt happier in his life. He then ended his account with the driest delivery of, ‘Needless to say, I was really surprised when I woke up the next day and there was a German Shepherd in my room instead of a Staffordshire terrier.’ Everyone just broke out in laughter, but he didn’t get what was funny. It turned out the dude had stolen the wrong dog. The judge sentenced him to 50 hours of community service and $3,000 in repairs for the broken doors and camera equipment.”
He Clearly Didn’t Realize Whom He Was Talking To
“I’m a small business attorney, and I was once in bankruptcy court on a motion of my own when a very young attorney got up to argue his position (his request was denied in the pre-hearing disposition).
Young Attorney: ‘Your Honor, I believe your reading of the three cases you have cited is incorrect.’
Bankruptcy Court Judge: ‘You think that, do you?’
YA: ‘Yes, your honor. I don’t think the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel believed these cases would be used in this fashion, and I think you are misreading the author’s scope.’
BKJ: ‘Ok. Tell me, as those are BAP opinions, who wrote those opinions?’
YA: ‘I’m not sure, your honor. I didn’t check.’
BKJ: ‘In the future, you may want to check those sorts of things—all three cases were authored by the judge you just told didn’t understand his own writing.’
Court Audience (mostly attorneys): Collective gasp
YA: Blank stare
BKJ: Facepalm ‘Jesus, son, I WROTE THOSE OPINIONS.’
YA: ‘Oh. Well, I still think they’re wrong.’
BKJ: ‘Request denied. Get the heck out of my courtroom.’
It was, quite possibly, the most awkward walk of shame I’ve ever seen as he gathered his things and left.”
All For A Good Night’s Sleep
“A lady had an injury/compensation case for her upper back and, of course, complex regional pain syndrome. She decided that she needed the insurance company to pay for a special mattress for her. It was a $6,000 Memory Foam with heat, massage, and a thousand other features. She also wanted a California King because her layabout unemployed boyfriend needed to sleep there, too.
We spent months litigating the darn thing. Finally, she bought it herself and my client agreed to give her $1,500 just to be done with it. The judge took myself and the opposing counsel aside and said he’d destroy us if we ever said the word ‘mattress’ in his court again after wasting so much time. It was that ridiculous.
Not three months had gone by when the case came in for another hearing. After exhausting all the chiropractic care allowed under the law, her doctor was seeking a variance to get some additional chiropractic. We got to court and I started arguing that it should be denied. Then the judge turned to her and asked, ‘Ma’am, why do you feel you need more chiropractic care?’
She paused for a minute, then replied, ‘I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping on my mattress.’ I think I saw smoke coming out of the judge’s ears.”
There Was A Reason She Wasn’t Allowed To See Her Kids
“I’m a family law attorney, so I see lot of people at their worst, but one case was absolutely disgusting. I originally started out taking pro bono cases, where the court specifically linked attorneys up with people with disabilities who could not afford a lawyer. Generally these people were very nice, and I enjoyed working with them to get the help they needed. But this one woman…she was a complete piece of garbage.
I typically didn’t get much information prior to meeting with these clients, and so I went into most initial meetings blind. When I walked into the room, I was confused at first because the woman didn’t look like she belonged in the program. She had a Michael Kors purse, an Apple watch, and a Burberry trench coat (keep in mind that one of the major factors for getting my help was refusal to compromise). Apparently she was continually using her very minor disability to get free legal aid to, in essence, harass her ex-husband.
We began talking, and she told me about how her ex was abusive to her children. I listened to her story and it actually made a lot of sense. Her son, who was almost 18, left her ex’s home to come live with her, and her daughter had made a 911 call which I read the transcript of. So I looked at the file, and was a little confused to see that this woman had lost all visitation rights to both of her kids. That was a big deal, because it almost never happens. Even the most addicted parents generally get supervised visitation, but she had nothing.
When I asked what happened, she told me that the judge was corrupt. I knew the judge well, so I told her that I didn’t believe that was the case. She then proceeded to regale me with information about how the judge was in a secret lesbian relationship with her ex’s now-wife. Once that was out, it was all she ever talked about. She had pieces written online about it. She actively told me time after time that she could prove it. She talked about it more than she talked about her kids.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks before the hearing, and I received a stack of printed text messages from the opposing attorney with hundreds, if not thousands, of texts between her and the daughter she was to have absolutely no contact with by court order. The texts went from bad to worse.
The daughter was in 8th grade or so, and it was clear the mom was manipulating her to skip school and have secret rendezvous where she would buy her expensive clothing. That was definitely a major strike against her, and was most likely enough to deny any request she was seeking. But there was so much more, including racial slurs, bigoted generalities, and constant coaching to leave her ex’s care.
The worst, however, was a text chain where the daughter actually called her stepmom a ‘rug muncher,’ which clearly indicated her mom had been feeding her the secret lesbian relationship theory. The daughter had said that the dad was wasted, and the mom replied something vague about how the stepmom wasn’t getting any that night with her dad being wasted. The daughter asked what she meant, and the mom, to her 8th grade daughter, replied, ‘broke wiener.’ We lost well before the hearing happened.
At the hearing, the judge (different from the one the mom hated) did what every reasonable judge would do, and denied the request. At that point, the mother stood up and started yelling in front of a full courtroom that everyone there was in on the ‘lesbo bonanza.’ She was held in contempt and ordered to pay a fee for every day the other child wasn’t returned to the father’s care. She said that she didn’t care and would just pay the fee. The judge replied, ‘Well, if that’s the case, I will annotate the file to inform court administration that you should be able to pay for your own attorney going forward.’ I lost the hearing, but wow did that loss feel good.”
They Had To Ditch The Fair To Visit Johnny On The Spot
“I’m a deputy prosecutor in a small town, and I’ve seen some stuff. One time there was this huge guy ‘Johnny’ who was being a huge jerk to everyone. Johnny was in court for violating probation, and the judge had a reputation as kind of a softy. Johnny mouthed off to the judge, so the judge makes him go sit down while he handled other cases.
When he came up again, our court security officer was near him in case anything happened. The guy mouthed off again, so the judge sentenced him to five days in jail, and to be taken into custody immediately. The security guy put his hand on Johnny’s shoulder and said, ‘Don’t resist, Johnny.’ Johnny threw his hand off, jumped up, and squared with the security guy. Security guy calmly pulled out his taser and nailed Johnny right in the chest. He went down like a falling tree.
Here’s the best part: the security guy was holding Johnny down and got on his radio, yelling, ‘Taser, taser, taser, courtroom two!’ That’s to tell backup to book it over. It happened to be on the day of my town’s annual festival, which includes a food fair next to the courthouse. The only backup officers available were at the food fair eating ridiculously overpriced corn dogs, so three officers went sprinting up the courthouse steps and ran into the courtroom with $8 corn dogs in hand to help restrain Johnny.”
He Didn’t Believe It Until He Saw It With His Own Two Eyes
“I’m a prosecutor now, but I used to have a private practice where I did a lot of evictions. My usual landlord clients wouldn’t even come into my office until their tenants had been behind for months, and most of the time the tenants were defiant in their non-payment so it wasn’t difficult to not take pity on them.
Anyway, one tenant was a particularly dumb guy. He usually came to court dressed in a wife beater and cutoff jeans. We had a trial date set, and my client and I showed up. The tenant did not. At the last second, before the judge entered a default, some woman came bursting into the courtroom and yelled, ‘Darryl’s on the phone!’ The judge allowed her to bring the phone up and we put the tenant on speakerphone. He proceeded to ask the judge to delay the trial for one week because his ‘brother got his head knocked inside out and is prolly gon’ die.’
I didn’t buy it, but my client knew Darryl well enough to sense the stress and fear in his voice. I told the judge that we would allow the continuance, but only until the next available court day. The judge set it for one week out. I still didn’t believe Darryl until that night when my grandfather was in an accident and we had to rush to the hospital. As we were walking up the hallway, I saw Darryl in a room with a bunch of people who dressed like him enough to obviously be family.
When we got to my grandpa’s room (he ended up not being as seriously injured as we originally feared), the first thing he says was, ‘You’ll never guess what happened to the guy down the hall. Nurse told me his idiot brother dropped a tractor bucket on his head and opened it like a cracked egg. He’s in a coma now.’
I relayed the news to my client and she felt sorry enough for Darryl that we signed an agreement stating that he would clear out within 15 days and we would forgive all back rent owed.”
The Surprise Party Defense
“This was what I dubbed the ‘Surprise Party Defense.’ In a hearing in which ex-wife was trying to get an order of protection against her ex-husband who had been stalking her. They had a highschool aged child together, and the ex-husband was trying to argue against the order of protection by saying that they may need to be able to communicate about the child. The judge pointed out that they can communicate through the child, and also that other family members had been put in place by the juvenile court to be intermediaries for pickups, dropoffs, etc.
Then the ex-husband had a brilliant lightbulb idea: ‘Judge, what if I need to throw my son a surprise party and I need to keep it secret from everyone, but his mom still needs to know so she doesn’t throw a party the same day?’
In other words, ‘While I admit have been stalking my ex-wife and that there are grounds to grant an order of protection, you should not grant that order just in case I need to throw a surprise party one day.’
What made it hilarious was how clever he thought the argument was. Thus was born, the ‘Surprise Party Defense.'”
The Guy Should’ve Known An Outburst Wouldn’t Help His Case
“I was working an annoyingly nasty divorce for a family law attorney and was leaving the courtroom. The opposing party left first and we held back for a bit before going on our way, which is standard operating procedure.
We went down the stairs and around the corner towards the exit, and, what do you know, it’s the disgruntled former husband with a barrage of colorful insults, and he’d cranked the volume knob to a 12/10.
Enter me: about 6 foot, 175 lbs, clearly working for an attorney, and in notably better shape than him. Confident he wouldn’t try anything, as there were cops everywhere and one approaching to investigate the disturbance, I feel emboldened to step between my client and the opposing party, beginning to say, ‘Hey, calm down man now is not the time or…’
The guy punched me straight in the gut, and I was not expecting it. I doubled over immediately. He got tackled by the nearest officer, cuffed, and dragged away, presumably to the jail next door. His partner was clearly trying to contain her laughter, and our client was on one knee asking if I was okay. Meanwhile, I was dying of embarrassment and trying not to vomit up my breakfast.”
It Was Like The Plaintiff’s Lawyer Wasn’t Even Trying
“Several years ago I was doing a civil trial (personal injury), defending a woman who (allegedly) hit a bus matron with her car. We had offered to concede liability and just try damages. In other words, the jury wouldn’t hear the circumstances of how the injury happened, just that we agreed my client caused the injury and they would decide the amount of damages. However, we had evidence that the plaintiff was significantly exaggerating her injuries. The plaintiff’s attorney refused to agree to our concession, thinking that if the jury heard the circumstances they’d want to give even more money to punish my client.
Then we went to trial on liability. The plaintiff called one witness, her client, who testified that an older woman in a green car hit her. They rested, and I moved for a dismissal for failure to prove a case. There was literally no evidence connecting my client to the incident, just an older woman in a green car. The plaintiff never even bothered to call my client to the stand.
The attorney told the judge that the bus driver had written down my client’s license plate and given it to the police. They also never bothered trying to find the bus driver. The attorney asked if she could just put the police report in, and I objected that it was hearsay.
The attorney then actually said, ‘Please just let me put this in, I haven’t had work in a while and I got retained by a firm to try this case. I really need to win this.’ Of course I didn’t agree, and the judge dismissed the case. I felt a little bad for her, but that was probably the worse presentation of a case I ever saw. I spoke with the jury afterwards and they all said they hated the plaintiff, didn’t believe a word she said, and likely would have found in my favor anyway. Moral of the story, BE PREPARED IN COURT.”
The Stubborn Grandpa Was Asking For It With His Obnoxious Behavior
“I was trying to leave the courthouse, and the only way to do that was to go by the criminal divisions. I tried to pass the juvenile criminal division hallway, but saw 3 sheriffs surrounding this older guy (50s/60s) in a wheelchair with what looked like his teenage grandson. They took up the whole hallway, so I was forced to watch it all go down.
The grandson was just kind of standing there like he didn’t know what to do, but the guy in the wheelchair was cussing up a storm at the sheriffs. He kept telling them to ‘eff off’ and told his grandson, ‘Go home and get the weapons! It’s going to start soon!’ He kept telling that kid, ‘Go and get the weapons!’ The sheriffs were really calm and tried to get him to leave, but the old guy was like, ‘I’m not leaving until he talks to the judge!’ and pointed to his grandson.
The sheriffs kept telling him that he needed to go or he’d be led out, and the old guy said, ‘What are you gonna do? Tackle an old man in a wheelchair?’ One sheriff took the handles of his wheelchair and started to push the old man down the hallway, but he freaked out and grabbed the wrist of the sheriff, trying to pull him off. Without missing a beat, another sheriff unholstered her taser and shot the guy from like 5 feet away. The old coot convulsed so much he fell out of his chair and onto the ground. The other 2 sheriffs jumped on top, handcuffed him, and took him to the holding cells in the other direction.”